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    Reporters Without Borders said in it’s 2005 special report titled “Xinhua: the world’s biggest propaganda agency”, that “Xinhua remains the voice of the sole party”, “particularly during the SARS epidemic, Xinhua has for last few months been putting out news reports embarrassing to the government, but they are designed to fool the international community, since they are not published in Chinese.”
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China keeping tight grip on Tibet

Posted by Author on June 4, 2008

By Michael Bristow, BBC News, China-

China appears to be maintaining a tight grip over Tibetan areas, nearly three months after a series of anti-Beijing protests and riots.

The government suggests life in areas inhabited by Tibetans is returning to normal, but evidence suggests otherwise.

Security is tight, Tibetans face travel restrictions, and monks and nuns have been forced to attend re-education classes.

Chinese tourists are once again being allowed to visit the Himalayan region, but not many are making the trip.

Foreigners are banned. It is difficult to get information about what is going on in Tibet and nearby provinces that are home to large numbers of Tibetans.

Chinese central and local government officials – who keep a tight rein on information at the best of times – are saying little.

Back to normal?

The Tibetan Autonomous Region’s foreign affairs office did not respond to a series of faxed questions from the BBC about the current situation.

The region’s Public Security Bureau also failed to reply to requests for information.

David Kramer, US Assistant Secretary of State for the Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights and Labour, got a similar response when he visited China last week.

He was in Beijing to discuss human rights issues with Chinese officials, and directly asked for an update on the latest developments in Tibet.

He appeared to get little out of his Chinese counterparts.

“We did not get information on numbers [of people arrested],” he told journalists.

Despite the lack of verifiable information, the government-controlled media gives the impression that life is returning to normal.

One recent article in the English-language China Daily said Tibet was expecting tourists to flock back to sites such as Lhasa’s Potala Palace.

But they appear not to be going back in significant numbers.

One top travel agent has not sent a single tour group since the unrest broke out; another is offering discounts.

Information from other sources also suggests life has not returned to normal in Tibetan areas.

Thubten Samphel, spokesman for the Tibetan government-in-exile, said China is restricting the lives of ordinary people.

“At the moment, we are receiving very little information. There are restrictions on telephone calls into Tibet and coming out,” he said.

The spokesman, based in Dharamsala, India, said Beijing officials had also stopped ordinary Tibetans from leaving China for Nepal and India.

He added that occasional protests by monks and nuns were continuing – even if they were quickly stopped by Chinese security forces.

…… (more details from BBC News: China keeping tight grip on Tibet)

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